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Qualities of an entrepreneur

8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Scary, right? But don’t let this put you off setting up your own business. Businesses could not exist without entrepreneurs. They are individuals who spot business opportunities and then act in order to exploit the opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs have a number of important qualities.

There is no definitive list of qualities that make the perfect entrepreneur – especially as many entrepreneurs don’t realise they possess them. Each entrepreneur will have their own mix of qualities that make them successful in business. As you can imagine, Mark Zuckerberg possess qualities that Elon Musk doesn’t and vice versa… But what are some of the core qualities of a successful entrepreneur? 


This is the most significant characteristic that every entrepreneur has, and for obvious reasons. They are successful because they love what they do. These tycoons put all the extra hours they have into the business to make it successful and flourish. It is about reaping the maximum rewards of their labour, whether this is the profits, feeling of succeeding or lovely holidays they get being their own boss! 


Having the ability to identify a direction and plan of action e.g. deciding when to buy a new machine, is a must when starting/running a business. This ensures decisions are made with full reason and aren’t just a ‘thing’ of the moment. As a result, decisions made will less likely create a knock-on effect on costs, thus creating better profit margins and reducing the chance of failure. An entrepreneur usually has a vision for the business that they can see and make decisions based on.


Successful entrepreneurs are never greatly impacted by the defeats they encounter. Being determined means being resilient when things go wrong/not giving up, e.g. working into the evening to solve a problem. For them, failure is like an opening for a success story, and hence, they try again and again until they get the success they are after. Moreover, these entrepreneurs are not wired to believe that some things are not possible and cannot be done.

Entrepreneurs’ success is more often than not coined from their competitiveness. The number of companies being formed each year is constantly on the up, as every entrepreneur believes that they can do a much better job than others or find more and more ways to fill the gaps in the market. They operate with the aim and ethos that they need to be better than their competitors and do everything they can to ensure that they take full advantage of the opportunity they have created.


They never ask the question or keep doubts in their mind about if they will succeed or if they are even capable of success. They are normally confident enough that their knowledge and their know-how will help them make their business idea a success. This is hugely beneficial as they radiate this confidence in everything that they do for the business, usually delivering the high levels of success too.


Another vital characteristic in making an entrepreneur successful is leadership. Entrepreneurs employ and lead others, e.g. motivating staff to meet a deadline. They are able to clearly articulate their ideas and the plan to achieve common goals – creating a business with a clear vision.

Leadership can often be taken as they have to make all the decisions all the time and not listen to anyone else in the business, however, to be successful an entrepreneurial leader realizes the importance of creativity and reactiveness, and they go out of their way to provide all the support that the team needs to achieve their goals.

Entrepreneurship tends to attract people with unique minds and strong personalities, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to possess all of these characteristics to be a successful entrepreneur. You may not have these now, but if you have the initial passion to become the next Oprah Winfrey or the new Bill Gates, you can learn and develop a majority of the key characteristics to increase your chances of success.#

If you need some direction, motivation or inspiration to get cracking with your new business idea why not come along to the biggest business event in the North of England? It's free, takes place at Manchester Central on 17th & 18th March, and is called the Northern Business Expo. You'll just need to get your free ticket online here, and then you're welcome to visit and listen to the keynotes, attend skills masterclasses, join the networking sessions, speak to the exhibitors and even enter to win £5k for your business idea!
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